Boredom. I think that’s probably the number one reason I haven’t been successful with keto in the past. I wish I was someone that could be satisfied with the same meal prep for a week but I just need more variety than that! So I don’t fall off the wagon I’ve spent the past few days trying to brainstorm different ways to keep my interest piqued. Here are some of the things that I’ve come up with.
Number one, keep changing your toppings. This is something that I’ve been using a lot for the past two weeks and I think it helped me with all the bunless burgers that I’ve had. This week I’ve had a burger with a fried egg on top, a burger with grilled onions, with pickles, etc. Because I was on an heirloom tomato kick I had a lot of those and I actually found myself looking forward to lunch most of the time! Sometimes it’s just one change that makes all the difference.
One thing that I haven’t tried yet is different meats. Maybe some bison, or lamb would be a good change.
Funny story, but there’s a place called Monsoon Burger and I for sure thought it would have exotic burgers. Like maybe a curry flavored burger? Anyway, when I saw the menu it looked like any other burger joint.
It did give me the idea to try to create a curry burger. Like what does that mean? Does it just have curry on it? In the meat? Curried vegetables instead of lettuce? I’m not sure, but I am inspired!
Number two, use more spices! This is similar to using more toppings, but really can change the flavor of what you’re eating. I think a lot of us that are just learning to cook don’t want to spend a bunch of money on spices. Most grocery stores have an ethnic section and you can usually find inexpensive spices in bags in that isle.
This is a cauliflower nachos recipe that I tried out the other day and the spices are really what made this tasty! In the future I think that I will try to focus on making dishes that are a little more complicated than the simple but bland ones I’ve tried in the past.
Next I’m planning to learn how to make more sauces. Between that and the spices I think that I will add a lot of flavor back into my diet.
Number three, invite your friends over and have a keto friendly party! Now there is some bread in the corner and some cherries for the carb eaters but the rest of these things are part of a keto diet. You could have a cheese and meats party, a taco salad bar or a bbq with lots of meat. There are plenty of ways to incorporate your new diet and still be social.
Doing things with your friends instead of excluding yourself is important. If you start acting like a hermit you’re going to miss socializing and that may be the downfall of all your good work. That said I think a lot of people end up cheating in these situations and I do have some suggestions for getting started.
In the beginning it will probably be easier to host. It’s more work but you will have more control of what’s available. A taco station with a couple of bowls and extra lettuce means that you can make something keto very easily without standing out or explaining your diet every five minutes.
When going over to a friends house try to make something that’s a main dish and bring a lot of it. That way you’ll have something tasty to eat even if everything else is made up of carbs or covered in sugar. If it’s more of a get together I bring a snack like pork rinds. They go in a bowl next to the chips and no one is any the wiser.
If I’m going to a friend’s house I just let them know I’m on a diet and ask what they’re planning. I can bring my own food or if it’s something like a burger I can ask for a plate and fork to eat it instead of a bun. I think a lot of the time I’m just afraid to ask but I’ve yet to have a bad response. Remember they’re you’re friends and more often than not they’re happy to help you reach your goals!
Last but not least, do you have a nonketo significant other? That doesn’t mean you can’t cook together anymore. You can make the same main dish but have different sides. Here I made some cauliflower rice while my boyfriend made the rice that came with our BlueApron meal. Often times I’ll add a little butter to my veggies while he heats up some bread for himself.
I find that if I’m just eating by myself it’s not worth the same amount of effort that cooking for two is. When we’re working together I definitely put more effort in and make much better food.
How about you? What techniques do you have for keeping your keto diet fun and interesting?